Euro 2016: Adidas competes with Nike for brand awareness

As well as football at Euro 2016, there’s also a battle for brand awareness, with the big clash between Adidas and Nike. Is there a clear winner?

Adidas is a long-time supporter of European Championships, counting 20 years of kit supplies, while it supported 37% of this year’s teams. On the other hand, Nike is already enjoying its online domination with an impressive number of fans, while it also focuses on kits and players’ sponsorships to maintain its brand status.

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Image source: Repucom

Nike supported 25% of this year’s teams, while it seems to have ensured big stars for its campaigns, including Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Wayne Rooney (England), and Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden).

Adidas is sponsoring big players like Paul Pogba (France), Gareth Bale (Wales), and Mesut Özil (Germany). There seems to be a balance among both brands and the number of big players they are sponsoring, and this balance is also maintained on the sponsoring of the last four teams left on the tournament.

Adidas is providing the kits for Germany and Wales and Nike’s logo is seen on the kits of Portugal and France, which makes the ideal balance for the two semi-finals.

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Image source: BT Sport

When a player is sponsored by your competitor

There are different sponsorship deals for players and kits, and this can create a conflict. One example is Paul Pogba of France, who is sponsored by Adidas, while French players wear kits provided by Nike.

Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t have a similar issue, as the sponsorship of Portugal aligned with its own for Nike, which must have been a relief for the brand that focused its campaign on Portugal’s big star.

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Image source: Repucom

Examining their social presence during 2016

According to Repucom, Nike counts 4.6 million followers on Twitter, while Adidas counts 2.9 million followers , but it’s interesting to note that Adidas is approaching Nike’s total engagement levels, even with a smaller audience and a smaller number of posts, which is certainly impressive.

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Image source: Repucom

As for Facebook, Nike has double the audience of Adidas, but there seems to be a very promising total change on Adidas’ followers at a weekly rate, which may have been increased even more the past weeks with the sponsored kits of Euro 2016.

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Image source: Repucom

Video is the key to success for engagement

Adidas is heavily relying on Facebook videos for increased engagement and it is another reminder for every brand to invest on native Facebook videos, as they seem to be preferred by users as the best way of content consumption.

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Image source: Repucom

Adidas posts mainly videos on Facebook, these account for 67% of its total Facebook posts, and this seems to be behind it’s engagement score of 211,000, comparing to just 54,000 for Nike.

Max Barnett, Head of Digital, Repucom, says:

Video content delivers much higher engagement rates. What will be interesting is to see is how the two utilise platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat to engage audiences and drive brand awareness and affinity in the opening stages of the tournament and beyond.

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Is there a winner in the sponsorships of Euro 2016?

Nike and Adidas seem to have different goals and expectations regarding their sponsorships during Euro 2016, and they both seem to achieve great results.

Both brands have ensured that their key sponsorships maximised their reach to a very specific target audience.

Nike is focusing more on the influencers and the players it is sponsoring, with Cristiano Ronaldo its biggest star and the fact that Portugal has made it through to the semi-finals being a big win for the brand. Moreover, Nike is already showcasing an impressive online presence and big events help validate the brand’s status among its competitors.
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Adidas has won in terms of engagement and it is a big win to compete with the loyal followers of its big rival, while the balance of the last four teams left in the semi finals makes the competition among them even more interesting.

According to a recent press statement, Adidas expects that the sales of its football boots, shirts and and balls will rise by 14%, leading to the record number of €2.5 billion for 2016.

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